19 Jul 2017:
Submissions Abstracts due
(due by end of day, anytime on Earth)
Due to several requests, we are extending
the paper submission deadline (for both position statements and full papers) by one week.
But an abstract for either kind of paper must still be submitted
by 19 Jul so that we can assign papers to reviewers.
26 Jul 2017:
Paper submissions due
(due by end of day, anytime on Earth)
16 Aug 2017:
30 Aug 2017:
Camera ready copies due
09-10 Oct 2017:
Workshop in Raleigh
We invite two kinds of paper submissions:
- A 1 to 4 page position statement describing an idea, research
question, or work in progress related to the design, teaching, or study of blocks programming
- A full paper (4 to 8 pages, including references) describing previously unpublished results
involving the design, study, or pedagogy of blocks programming
For either kind of paper, an abstract must be submitted to the
Easy Chair Blocks and Beyond workshop submission site by the end of 19 Jul 2017.
Completed papers must be submitted as PDF files to the
Easy Chair Blocks and Beyond workshop submission site by the end of 26 Jul 2017.
IEEE Conference template
to format your submission.
Submitted paper abstracts and PDFs can be updated at any time through
the end of day on 26 Jul 2017 (anytime on Earth). Authors are encouraged
to submit drafts that can be updated until the 26 Jul deadline.
Drafts should be indicated by putting
Draft: at the
beginning of the title in the paper.
As with the
Proceedings of the First Blocks and Beyond Workshop,
we plan to publish the proceedings of the Second Workshop
with the IEEE.
Some expected differences from the 1st workshop:
- a single-track format spread over two days.
- longer paper presentation times (tentatively, 12 to 15 minutes)
Submissions are not anonymous, so do not anonymize your papers.
Demos and Posters
All workshop participants (whether or not they have an accepted position statement or
full paper) are encouraged to present a demo and/or poster of their work during
the workshop. More details on signing up for a demo/poster presentation will be
Call for Participation
Scope and Goals
Blocks programming environments represent program syntax trees as
compositions of visual blocks. They are an increasingly popular way to introduce
programming and computational thinking;
tens of millions of people have used tools like
Scratch, Blockly, App Inventor, Snap!, Pencil Code, Alice/Looking
Glass, AgentSheets/AgentCubes, and Code.org's curricula.
But blocks programming is not just for beginners; environments like GP and
domain-specific blocks languages are targeted at hobbyists, scientists. and other
Capitalizing on the energy and enthusiasm from the
1st Blocks and Beyond Workshop in Atlanta
in 2015, this workshop aims to continue studying the
usability, effectiveness, and generalizability of affordances of these
environments and their associated pedagogies.
The workshop will bring
together educators and researchers with experience in blocks languages, as
well as members of the broader VL/HCC community who wish to examine this area
more deeply. We seek participants with diverse expertise, including, but not
limited to: design of programming environments, instruction with these
environments, the learning sciences, data analytics, usability, and more.
The workshop will be a generative discussion that sets the stage for
future work and collaboration. It will include participant presentations and
demonstrations that frame the discussion, followed by reflection on the state
of the field and smaller working-group discussion and brainstorming sessions.
Suggested Topics for Discussion
- Who uses blocks programming environments and why? What do they create
in these environments, and how satisfied are they with their creations?
- Which features of blocks environments help or hinder users?
How do we know? Which of these features are worth incorporating into more traditional
IDEs? What helpful features are missing?
- How can blocks environments and associated curricular materials be made more accessible to everyone,
especially those with disabilities?
- Can blocks programming appeal to a wider range of interests (e.g., by allowing connections to
different types of devices, web services, data sources, etc.)?
- What are the best ways to introduce programming to novices and to
support their progression towards mastery? Do these approaches differ for
for learners of computing basics and for makers?
- What are the conceptual and practical hurdles encountered by novice
users of blocks languages when they face the transition to text languages
and traditional programming communities? What can be done to reduce these
- How can we best harness online communities to support growth through
teaching, motivating, and providing inspiration and feedback?
- What roles should collaboration play in blocks programming? How can environments support that collaboration?
- In these environments, what data can be collected, and how can that
data be analyzed to determine answers to questions like those above? How
can we use data to answer larger scale questions about early experiences
- What are the lessons learned (both positive and negative) from
creating first programming environments that can be shared with future